Dreaming to wake you up?It may be your antidepressant

If you suffer from clinical depression, you may be familiar with early morning. It is well known that depression can cause sleep disorders, such as insomnia, waking up in the morning, nightmares or nightmares.In fact, it has been shown to change the part of sleep related to rapid eye movement, called rapid eye movement sleep, where you dream.

Specifically, depression shortens the time required to enter REM sleep (called REM sleep latency) and increases the frequency of rapid eye movements during sleep (called REM sleep density).Combined with these changes in REM sleep, patients with depression report more negative or nightmares.

Ironically, antidepressants that treat depression can also affect your dreams by affecting REM sleep.

Studies have shown that antidepressants may induce positive or negative dream emotions, affect the frequency of your dreams, and reduce your memory of dreams.This is consistent with the tendency of patients to report their sleep when taking antidepressants.

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Study the effects of antidepressants

In a report published in 2013 Sleep Medicine Review, Gotthard Tribl and his research team completed a systematic review to study the effect of antidepressants on the dream content of depressed and non-depressed individuals.

In all the studies published in 60 years, they found that a total of 21 clinical studies and 25 case reports were eligible for review.

These studies compared the dream content of a series of different antidepressants and compared the dream content of people taking or not taking antidepressants.Use a variety of methods to record dream content, including morning dream diaries, instant oral reports of forced awakening during REM sleep, and questionnaires designed to collect information on dream content and nightmare frequency.

Types of antidepressants

The study authors found that taking antidepressants tends to make people with depression and non-depression remember their dreams less frequently. This effect is most prominent for people who take a class of antidepressants called tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors called Nardil (phenelzine), while taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ( SSRIs) are rare.

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Tricyclic drugs are older antidepressants that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. They include drugs such as Elavil (amitriptyline), Anafranil (clomipramine), Tofranil (imipramine) and Surmontil (trimipramine).

The review found that antidepressants belonging to the SSRI category and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) can enhance dreams and increase the frequency of people reporting nightmares.of

Examples of SSRIs include Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline). SNRI includes drugs such as Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Effexor (venlafaxine).

On the other hand, tricyclic drugs tend to produce more positive dreams, and stopping antidepressants usually leads to increased dream recall and more frequent nightmares.

Need more research

However, the authors of this study pointed out that they did not pay much attention to dream memories and content. In their comments, they suggested that more research is needed to describe how antidepressants affect dreaming, as this may affect patients’ preferences for medications and recommend which antidepressants are best for any particular patient.

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